Paving her way onward and upward

05 Jan 2018
Paving her way onward and upward

Nusrat Parveen, signed up for the ‘Cooking & Housekeeping’ course at the TAF Foundation’s Vocational Training Institute (TAFF-VTI) because she wanted to change her life. “I want a better future for my children,” she asserts.

When the recruitment team from TAFF approached women including Nusrat in her neighborhood, she confessed she was very scared to join as she didn’t know what to expect. I had heard strange rumors before coming to the training, but I didn’t pay attention to these rumors. Some girls from my area backed out but I remained steadfast. I believe in Allah and took this opportunity with courage. Thankfully, TAFF met all of my expectations.”

Nusrat, aged 45, has completed her matriculation and used to teach at a school before joining TAFF. A mother of 6 (children aged between 10-18 years old), and wife of a hosiery worker in garments factory, she earned Rs. 2000-2500 monthly.

There are many women who come to TAFF for training without the support from their families. Nusrat was lucky to have supporting husband and in-laws. “My family is supportive and they encourage the idea of me working. It’s difficult for one person to run a house.” Previously, Nusrat’s earning helped supplement her husband’s earnings but it wasn’t enough. They had to take a loan from family members to be able to pay for their house.

After training at TAFF, Nusrat has secured a better paying job working as a housekeeper at a domestic household earning a salary of Rs 30,000 per month. “Managing the house has become much easier after taking this step. I am so relieved now because I can educate my children.”

The salary jump is not the only positive change in Nusrat’s life. She says the training has made her positive, independent and confident as a person, sharing that “Small changes have improved my productivity. I feel that because of the soft skills classes at TAFF, I have better communications skills, I listen first and ask questions later. I am better at managing time. I travel to work every day via two buses, but still manage to get to work half an hour before my time. I now know about savings, and can open a bank account and use an ATM card. I’ve learned work ethics and dressing etiquettes that I feel distinguish me from other workers. Because of these attributes, my employer realizes that I am a trained professional and she highly appreciates it.”

Nusrat’s path was not completely without challenges. She discloses that people used to talk negatively about her training, they would ask why she was being trained to be a ‘massi’ (maid). “This was hurtful, but I didn’t pay much heed because I knew I am doing something positive. Now they see me working at a respectable place with a good salary, nobody says anything. In fact, they are impressed by me.”

“It’s unbelievable what TAFF has done for us. I tell people I meet anywhere about TAFF and they find it hard to believe. At TAFF I’ve witnessed myself that there is kindness in the world. I would encourage all women to train and work, that’s the only way forward.”